Futures were showing a strong open this morning despite weaker-than-expected earnings from FedEx (FDX, $99.91, down $6.55) and a drop in sales for Caterpillar (CAT, $86.78, down $1.49) over the past quarter. Cyprus continues to negotiate with Russia on financial help and the Fed will release its minutes at 2:00pm (EST) sharp. Ben Bernanke will speak at 2:30pm.
As you might notice, there is a slight change from the usual schedule of the release of the FOMC minutes. Prior announcements by the zombies were made at 12:30pm with Big Ben usually speaking at 2:15pm. Word has it he wants to decrease the speculation time from the release of the minutes to when he takes center stage to reduce the hoopla. In other words, he wants to try and control the action but all he has to do is say he has no plans to end QE anytime soon.
The rest of the rhetoric will be worded carefully in an attempt to keep the rally going but any hints of an interest rate hike will spook the bulls.
We aren’t sure if the opening pop will result in a late day drop or a continued upswing but it does feel like we are on the verge of a major move for the market. Another leg higher would be nice but we are ready to play the downside if and when it comes.
The Dow is currently up 53 points to 14,508 while the S&P 500 is higher by 9 points to 1,557. The Nasdaq is gaining 19 points to 3,247. We have a lot to cover today so let’s get on it. We may have action to take after the fireworks start and if we do, we will send out Trade Alerts.